Spy Shots: 2015 Lexus GS F is camo-free and frisky

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Performance, Lexus, Luxury

Lexus GS F Spy shots

Other than some missing badges and (hopefully) a not-yet-finished rear fascia, what you see here is an undisguised look at the long-awaited Lexus GS F high-performance sedan. Lexus’ answer to the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, the GS F has been spotted again.

Unlike our previous spy shots, though, this time around, the sporty Lexus has been caught testing on the Nürburgring, so our spy shooters have managed to get a look at the car from all angles. Building on the aggressive styling of the GS F-Sport, the GS F gets bigger air intakes and a lower chin spoiler up front. Like before, we see the signature stacked exhaust outlets, but they still seemed roughed into rear fascia, which gets an aero-aiding diffuser.

We still only have guesses as to what will be under the hood, but a 465-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 sounds good to us. Expect to see the production GS F on the road by 2015.

2015 Lexus GS F is camo-free and frisky originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: 2015 Lexus GS F is camo-free and frisky

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Performance, Lexus, Luxury

Lexus GS F Spy shots

Other than some missing badges and (hopefully) a not-yet-finished rear fascia, what you see here is an undisguised look at the long-awaited Lexus GS F high-performance sedan. Lexus’ answer to the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, the GS F has been spotted again.

Unlike our previous spy shots, though, this time around, the sporty Lexus has been caught testing on the Nürburgring, so our spy shooters have managed to get a look at the car from all angles. Building on the aggressive styling of the GS F-Sport, the GS F gets bigger air intakes and a lower chin spoiler up front. Like before, we see the signature stacked exhaust outlets, but they still seemed roughed into rear fascia, which gets an aero-aiding diffuser.

We still only have guesses as to what will be under the hood, but a 465-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 sounds good to us. Expect to see the production GS F on the road by 2015.

2015 Lexus GS F is camo-free and frisky originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next-gen Toyota Prius aiming for 55 mpg, could arrive in 2015

Filed under: Hybrid, MPG, Toyota

toyota prius family

Twenty years ago, a small group of engineers at Toyota were tasked with the G21 project, a look into the “Global 21st Century” and how Toyota could make vehicles that used less fuel and emit less CO2. You might be able to guess that the result of that project was the Prius, which became an icon and is today the world’s most popular hybrid (in Japan and California, it’s the most popular car, period).

Speaking at the Toyota Hybrid World Tour, a rock ‘n roll-themed media event in Ypsilanti, MI today, one of those engineers, Satoshi Ogiso, who is now Toyota Motor Corporation’s managing officer, gave some hints on the next-gen Prius. The headline number: roughly 55 miles per gallon thanks to a new platform – the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) – and a more thermal efficient engine. The TNGA will provide a lower center of gravity as well as improved ride and handling, Ogiso said, and the new Prius motor will be more power dense as well.

The 55-mpg number is a big deal, but it is in line with the improvements in the model’s history. The first-gen Prius got 41 mpg, the second-gen got 46 and the third got 50. So, there was around a 10-percent improvement each time. “To beat your own record becomes very difficult,” Ogiso said, adding that it becomes all the more rewarding when you manage to reach your goal. The big question, of course, is when this next-gen Prius is due? “It’s a sensitive question,” Ogiso said, but then gave a big hint that 2015 is likely. Once again, he pointed to history. After all, the first-gen was 1997, second-gen was 2003 and third-gen was 2009. It’s always been six years between models he said, laughing.

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Next-gen Toyota Prius aiming for 55 mpg, could arrive in 2015 originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Nissan to add Rogue, Murano hybrid around 2015

Filed under: Hybrid, Crossover, Nissan

2014 Nissan Rogue Spy Shots

Except for the limited-production, Toyota-assisted Altima Hybrid, Nissan has pretty much shied away from hybrid vehicles, but that is all about to change. As a part of a plan to launch a total of 15 electrified vehicles by 2016, Nissan is launching the Pathfinder Hybrid, which goes on sale this fall, and we’ve heard in the past that the Altima will get another hybrid variant, as well. Now, Green Car Reports is confirming that the Murano and the smaller Rogue (seen above in next-gen prototype phase) will both receive hybrid powertrains.

Though riding on different platforms, both hybrid crossovers could share the system being introduced in the Pathfinder, consisting of a 2.5-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine, a 22-horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. There is still no word on when the next-gen Murano will arrive, but the 2014 Nissan Rogue will be introduced on September 10.

Nissan to add Rogue, Murano hybrid around 2015 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 25 Aug 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Geely to release models developed with Volvo in 2015

Filed under: China, Volvo, Geely

The Geely logo is shown at the North American International Auto Show Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Geely and Volvo will finally team up for a jointly developed vehicle, more than three years after the safety-minded Swedish brand was gobbled up by Geely’s parent company, according to a report in Automotive News Europe. The story quotes Geely’s CEO, Gui Sheng Yue saying, “We have entered into actual research and development stage and I believe we can see the new product in the year after next.”

That means 2015, which is a mighty ambitious timetable to bring a vehicle to market. But as Geely’s CEO explains, life isn’t going to get any easier in the Chinese market, “Competitive pressure on domestic brands in the China market should increase considerably in the coming years as most major international brands are strengthening their presence,” he told ANE. Those statements also tell us that we shouldn’t expect to see Geely on American shores any time soon. The brand is simply too focused on topping the Chinese market, at least among CDM brands.

Geely to release models developed with Volvo in 2015 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2015 BMW i8 Prototype

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, BMW, First Drives, Electric, Luxury

M Meets Edison

2014 BMW i8 prototype

The real telling moment for the new BMW i division will be seeing how the recently tested 2014 i3 sells in its various markets, since that is the car that changes how we perceive our expectations of the brand. But this 2015 BMW i8 green supercar has all the earmarks of a slam-dunk project, we just needed to drive it and make sure for ourselves.

BMW has a spectacular test facility in southern France, called Miramas, and that’s where we just had our first brief go behind the wheel of the i8. There were three cars for us there and they were dressed up in exactly the same paisley camo that we’ve all seen in the spy photos published everywhere for the past year. The interiors, though swathed in masking to hide all the details, varied in their color.

As opposed to our realization that driving the stink out of the i3 was not the right attitude, with the i8 we were mostly encouraged to do exactly that by the entire BMW project team. Our essential takeaway from this event is that even BMW feels much more at ease splashing the i8 around with the media, because they’re certain we’re going to enjoy it. Even if the technology underneath is all new, this is the type of product BMW knows how to do in its blood and bones.

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2015 BMW i8 Prototype originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 07 Aug 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Infiniti G37 to live through MY 2015, sell alongside Q50

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Infiniti, Luxury

2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan - front three-quarter view

Infiniti has officially confirmed news we broke last month about its G37 sedan – that it will live on in showrooms alongside its erstwhile replacement, the 2014 Infiniti Q50, a model that goes on sale this week. And it’s sticking around for quite a while – it will be sold through the 2015 model year.

In order for the G37 and Q50 to not rub shoulders, Infiniti is rolling out an amended G lineup, complete with lowered pricing. The G37 will stick around in Journey and all-wheel drive trims, both powered by the same 3.7-liter VQ-Series V6 engine, and only two option groups will be available, Premium and Navigation. The 2014 G37 Journey will start at $32,550, while the G37 Sedan AWD will run $34,150 (both are subject to a $905 destination fee).

The 2013 G37 had been priced from $38,255 delivered as of earlier this week, so the price drop is significant, likely bringing the base MSRP more in line with where transaction prices had been on the aging model. The new pricing, which takes effect August 6, should also allow the G37 gain consideration amongst shoppers of smaller-engined rivals like the BMW 320i while the Q50 waits on a turbocharged four-cylinder and diesel engine from Daimler. For comparison’s sake, the larger, more tech-rich Q50 will start at $37,605 delivered.

Why leave the G37 hanging around with its successor? According to Ben Poore, Infiniti of America’s vice president:

“The introduction of the Q50 with its distinctive design, engaging performance, world’s first technologies and unmatched levels of connectivity and personalization, enables us to pursue a two-pronged strategy. It creates room to strategically offer the repositioned G37 at the lower end of the near luxury segment in addition to the higher-positioned Q50. The two vehicles aim at different market segments and allow us to serve different customer needs.”

Confusingly, the G37 will apparently keep its nameplate in the face of Infiniti’s new Q-based nomenclature, a system that has already changed the G37 Coupe and Convertible models to the name Q60. For more, check out the official press release by scrolling below.

*Note: 2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan shown

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Infiniti G37 to live through MY 2015, sell alongside Q50 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ferrari considering return to Le Mans racing in 2015

Filed under: Motorsports, Ferrari

The Ferrari (No. 21) of Masten Gregory, of USA, and Jochen Rindt, of Austria, crosses the finish line to win the grueling, 24-hour Le Mans automobile race in Le Mans, France on June 20, 1965. The Ferrari (No. 18) of Pedro Rodriguez, of Mexico, and Nino Vacarella, of Italy, finished seventh while the Ferrari (No. 27) of Swiss drivers Armand Boller and Dieter Spoerry finished sixth, covering 2,862.7 miles averaging 121,09mph. (AP Photo)

Rumors are swirling that Ferrari may be contemplating a return to Le Mans racing as soon as 2015. Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports the Italian automaker may apply the development of a new 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine for Formula One to an LMP1 car for Le Mans, and have it ready for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in two years. This follows hints made by Scuderia Ferrari CEO Stefano Domenicali last month that the newly developed F1 engine could be used for “some interesting projects.”

Ferrari has a history of success in Le Mans racing, though it hasn’t won the big endurance outright since 1965. The image above captures the exact moment when the No. 21 car of Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt crossed the finish line that year to win the race. That win was the last of six consecutive outright victories before the infamous arrival of the Ford GT40 in 1966. Despite never reaching the top of the podium again, Ferrari’s nine wins still stand as the third most overall by a manufacturer behind Porsche (16) and Audi (11).

If Ferrari does return to Le Mans in 2015, the LMP1 class will suddenly be teaming with worthy competitors for Audi, which has dominated the race since 2000. After Peugeot’s exit from the sport in early 2012, Toyota entered the race in 2012 and has continued to develop its TS030 Hybrid LMP1 car. Porsche, meanwhile, is well into developing a new LMP1 car that will first compete in next year’s race.

Ferrari considering return to Le Mans racing in 2015 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo to hit 60 mph in 2 seconds?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Nissan, Rumormill

Here’s your daily dose of incredulity – AutoExpress is reporting the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo will hit 60 miles per hour in two seconds. Okay. The report comes from an unnamed source that AE spoke with at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and would mean that the GT-R Nismo, a car that will likely sit below $150,000, will be able to outsprint (over short distances) a 1200-horsepower, $2.58-million Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

Citing a more potent version of the GT-R’s twin-turbocharged V-6 along with a healthy drop in weight, AutoExpress says that the performance is the result of the same group that helped develop the Juke Nismo, Williams Advanced Engineering. An unnamed engineer for Williams (it’s not made clear if this is the same source from Goodwood) notes that there are improvements to be had “even with a car like the GT-R.”

As exciting as the GT-R Nismo is going to be, we’re having a hard time accepting that it will be able to hit 60 in two seconds flat, at least on street tires. What do you think? Have your say in Comments.

2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo to hit 60 mph in 2 seconds? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mercedes-Benz SLC to arrive mid-2015

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Mercedes-Benz

Although we’re still not entirely sure what Mercedes is planning to call its new sub-SLS coupe, more potential information about the car is starting to come to light. After Mercedes released official “spy shots” (shown above) back in June, Auto Express is saying that we might have to wait until 2015 to see this production version on the road.

Potential names for the car include SLC and the return of the SLR name, but regardless of what it will be called, this car is aimed squarely at the Porsche 911. Previously, we heard the new Mercedes could start under $100,000, but this report says that the new coupe will carry a base price of around $122,000, while a Black Series model could go for around $180,000 (both prices converted from British pounds). In any case, seems it’ll be a few more years before we actually know for sure.

Mercedes-Benz SLC to arrive mid-2015 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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